Friday, March 4, 2016
Throwback Thursday: Wish You Were Here, by Pink Floyd
In 1975 Pink Floyd was just wrapping things up with the monumental success they had had with their 1973 release Dark Side of the Moon. Now was the time to prove that it wasn't just a fluke and that they could construct something even bigger and better. That year they managed to do just that by recording the progressive masterpiece that is known as Wish You Were Here. Even though the album is only 5 tracks long, they are 5 of the most brilliantly constructed and passionately performed tracks of their career.
Wish You Were Here hasn't a single bad song on it. Half the album are the progressive odysseys Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) and Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX) and the other are the three radio hits the tender and somber acoustic ballad Wish You Were Here, the music industry critique Have a Cigar, and the further critiquing synth wonder Welcome to the Machine. It really is a grand production overall.
Wish You Were Here is a classic for a reason. It is so simple (which is why many guitar players learn it early on), yet so profoundly meaningful. There is a great deal of raw emotion pulsing through every last chord and lyric. It's a song you can kind of get gently picked up and swept away into the dark current with. I wouldn't say that Pink Floyd isn't the first thing that comes to mind when the word 'soulful' comes up, but it definitely isn't quite what you would usually expect of them in that particular department. It's nice when now and again the focus is on feeling rather than technical prowess.
Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) is one of my absolute favorite things that Pink Floyd ever created. The song is a suite that in a way acts as a fantastic journey across a relaxing warm yet hair raising soundscape. Each part flows from one into the next absolutely seamlessly. It's definitely not a radio hit by any means, but I find so much more joy in it than something that would be on the airwaves because there is so much musical exploration in it. To make things better, this is DEFINITELY one of those songs where you become more immersed by listening to it on headphones.
Wish You Were Here is nothing short of a masterpiece and a classic from Pink Floyd's extensive catalog. You can tell they were giving it every last bit of care and love possible. If you like stuff that is a little more exploratory than just the same old three chord stuff you hear on the radio all the time then you're covered here. There is so much passion to create and explore while also expressing the deepest most important things in their souls at the time. Not having this album is a crime against your musical well-being.
Wish You Were Here, by Pink Floyd receives 5 out of 5 stars.
1. Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
2. Welcome to the Machine
3. Have a Cigar
4. Wish You were Here
5. Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX)
Buy the album on Amazon: